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One of the newer training equipment in many gyms nowadays is the Bulgarian bag. “Using the proper method, working out with it can significantly strengthen your grip, wrists, arms, shoulders, back, legs and core. It’s also great for improving shoulder mobility, agility and speed,” says Ben Salter, an instructor at Pure Fitness (www.pure-fitness.com).
Inspired By Shepherds
Former Olympian Ivan Ivanov invented the Bulgarian bag. He got the idea from watching shepherds perform strength exercises with sheep in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian bag’s unique shape allows you to grip it in different ways. That gives you the flexibility to use it to perform a variety of movements, including swinging, pushing, pulling and rotating, as well as press-ups, sit-ups and squats. Incorporate these three exercises with the Bulgarian bag into your regular workout routine.
BULGARIAN BAG SPIN
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and planted firmly on the ground. Hold the bag by its main handles and spin it in a clockwise direction, moving your body while keeping your knees soft and core engaged. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions. Then spin in an anti-clockwise direction.
Works: Forearms, shoulders, back and core muscles
BULGARIAN BAG SQUAT
Place the bag on the shoulders, securing its placement by holding the main handles. Squat to the point where the knee joint is at 90 degrees, and return to the standing position. Keep the back in a neutral position throughout the movement. On the downward movement, ensure that the knee doesn’t come too far forward over the foot. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions.
Works: Glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings
Sit on the floor holding the bag in the baby-carry position and squeeze it into your chest. Keeping your feet and knees together, and the bag squeezed close to the chest, go into the lying position and return to the start. For best results, the bag must be kept close to the top of the chest.